Renowned filmmaker Adoor Gopalakrishnan has reacted sharply to a court in Bihar filing an FIR against him and 49 other celebrities over writing an open letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi raising concern over the growing incidents of mob lynching and attacks on minorities.
Adoor along with 49 others, including Ramachandra Guha, Mani Ratnam and Aparna Sen, have been charged with belittling the image of Modi and spreading divide among communities by a lawyer in Bihar. On his complaint, the chief judicial magistrate ordered registration of a case against the 50 signatories.
Adoor told mediapersons that it was a 'shame' such a petition was admitted by a court. He said it was a polite letter to the Prime Minister which was natural in a democratic country. There were no political interests behind writing such an open letter. It was neither against the Prime Minister or the Government but only a word of caution and his intervention as people were being attacked and subjected to mob lynching. Worse was the fact that the victims were forced to chant 'Jai Shri Ram'. Mob lynching was continuing and, sadly, minority communities were being targeted, he said.
He said it was a positive letter sent out in June and wondered how a court could admit the petition. It was a shame, he said, happening during the 150th birth anniversary celebrations of Mahatma Gandhi. Sadly, people's representatives who decry Gandhiji and even made an effigy of his and shot at it, justifying the assassination in 1948 have been moving around freely. The murderer Nathuram Godse was now being treated as a 'saviour'.
Adoor had faced the wrath of BJP leaders in the State when he signed the letter. One of its leaders B Gopalakrishnan even went to the extent of justifying the forceful chant of 'Jai Sri Ram' and said Adoor should be 'sent to Mars'.
Former Congress chief Rahul Gandhi condemned the case charged against Adoor and the 49 co-signatories. He told mediapersons in Wayanad, from where he was elected recently to the Lok Sabha, that the situation in the country was such that "all those speaking against PM Narendra Modi would be sent to jail... Those believing in one ideology are ruling the country."